Flex 6400M Backup SD

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  • Question
  • Updated 2 months ago
It appears Flex6400 series radios boot from an SD card.  As we all know SD cards can fail.  Has anyone ever backed one of these up?  Does Flex make images available in the event of SD card corruption or failure? 
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Dave

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Posted 9 months ago

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Bill -VA3WTB

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In the early days when the new radio started to come out there were a few were the SD card failed on the customers. After a Help Desk Flex was able to determin the problem. They sent the customers new SD cards and the customers replaced them on site.

I know these SD cards are not the same ones we buy at the stores, these cards are a very heavy duty card that will read and write much longer then the cards we all use in our devices.

As for backup on site, I'm not aware of anything,,yet.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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Now that’s a really good question! The configuration is easily backed up with SSDR on a computer, but what about the software that runs the radio (and the “M” interface)?
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Dave,

Please do not back up your SD card. You will likely void your warranty. 

If you have a failure under warranty then Flex will handle all repairs. Out of warranty then the cost of repair is very reasonable if it is a SD card failure.

73,

Mack
W4AX
Alpha Team
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Ted VE3TRQ

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The SD card is probably not easily accessed, but how can backing up an SD card void a warranty??? I use SD cards for Linux and Windows systems all the time, creating copies at will, including touching up partitions as necessary.
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Dave

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Thanks Mack, Was not attempting this, was just inquiring. 
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Dave

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I work in IT and we have cards in commercial equipment fail from time to time. Sometimes things just get corrupted.   I think it would be great (especially for those with radios out of warranty) to be able to have access to or have the ability to make recovery images for their radios.  Just something I was pondering, food for thought.  
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Craig Williams

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I would like to see a response from Flex on this issue.
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Volker Geith

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Hi all,

just thinking the same. Clone the card 1:1 (like a hdd / sdd) should work, why not?+

Volker, DL4RCE
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Volker Geith

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Hi all,

I bought a new micro SDcard with 2GB of storage. I did an image of the internal SDcard and saved it locally (Win32DiskImager, used it on a 64Bit Windows10 machine). After that I wrote the image to the new 2GB storage. Re-installed the new SDcard in the Flex and it booted up exactly the same way and in exactly the same time, abt. 55sec.

So now I do have a backup SDcard and the image locally if something happens. Costs were about 20USD for an 2GB SDcard and an USB micro SDCard reader.

I am satisfied :)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Regards

Volker
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Mark WS7M

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I think Flex will need to weigh in on the warranty voiding...

I would image the card personally because in my experience these things happen Friday night at 4:30pm before Field Day.

Mark
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Dean Davidson

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If it's that easy to backup I dont see the problem but I will wait until warranty is out but you would think if it corrupted flex would send an image for us to image a card instead of having to send the entire radio back in.
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Bobby

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Where can I find the instructions for swapping out the sd card with a new one from flex, I would like to be proactive not reactive. Since my warranty is expired and apparently since the software provided is not covered under any warranty according to the manual I want to be prepared as well as I can be for the inevitable sd card issue, this appears to be the weak link in the system since its a brick without a working sd card.

Thanks!
Bobby
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Bill -VA3WTB

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To make this clear. There have been some cases of SD card failures. How ever in most cases the SD cards will last a life time and longer.
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Ng Rocky

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IMHO, SD card used to last for decade but recent TLC technology is very different thing.

Also, even hardware is durable, and power failure during a write operation can may corrupt a file. Whether a corrupt file will kill the whole radio or not depends if the software is well designed to handle such situation. but there are chance that failure doesn’t only affect one file but whole NAND flash block containing other files.
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Volker Geith

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Hi Bobby, I think there is no "official" guide / how-to available. It is not complicated but takes some steps. Currently I do not have documented it well enough in order to share, additionally I do not want to step on Flexes toes since I guess it is not supported.

73

Volker
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Bobby

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Thanks anyway I will figure it out.
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Volker Geith

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Can you give me your email addy?

Volker
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Jack WA9FVP

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SD cards have a limited number of write cycles. I’m not sure how many times a day the 6400/6600 writes to the SD card, but it is possible to exceed the number of writes. Years ago the number was more than 1,000,000 but with technological advances, the number could have doubled or even tripled.
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Ng Rocky

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Not really.    Old day SLC NAND flash are more durable.

Old SD cards are SLC (Single layer cell) each block can be written >= 100000 times, nowadays cheap SD cards are TLC (Triple layer cell) each block can be written only <= 10000 times.    Although most SD cards has controller using wear levelling algorithm to prolong the life, the number of write cycle is still limited by physical cell life.     Also, block size of newer SD cards is larger, changing one bit inside a block need to rewrite the whole block.  

Flex6400 come with a 256M SD card, AFAIK no consumer grade SD card nowaday is that small.    I guess it is good quality industrial grade SD.        I believe Flex has look into write cycle limitation and they should optimised the software to avoid too frequent writing to SD card.
(Edited)
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Ng Rocky

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There was some issue with paint on the front panel and I opened my Flex6400 for that.    At the same time, I use a hardware write-blocker (computer forensic stuff) and Win32DiskImager to backup the card.   The size of TF card is only 256M.   
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Henning - DL6DH

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Hi.

my card failed during the last software update in a 6500. The rig stopped with a boot failure (three red flashes)
I opened a support ticket and got a replacement card from the EU service center via mail, so I do not need to ship in the TRX. The card is placed inside the RF cage, to open it you habe to break the warranty seal, you should know what you do here.

By the way, Flex support was quick and perfect.

73 Henning
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Nick RN3KK

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Create image from SD easy procedure. Insert card to card reader and connect  his to linux PC.
next need two command in linux console
dd if=/dev/sdc of=/opt/backup.img

backup.img this is full image

and for create new SD
dd if=/opt/backup.img of=/dev/sdc